Archive for the ‘ Letters to the Editor / Opinion ’ Category

Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?

By Markus Weinzinger

 

As always, opinion articles reflect only the personal beliefs of the author and not necessarily those of the Denobis staff, Denobis editors, or Tri-City Prep as a whole.

 

America is the premier mixed-culture nation on Earth. It’s a country where people from the world over have come to flee tyranny or to start from scratch. It is from this reality that America is known as the “melting pot,” that perfect blend of every spice, savor, and sweetener. Arriving in America, immigrants are no longer obligated to keep themselves tethered to their native culture. They have the wonderful opportunity to participate as citizens of the freest nation and pursue their dreams. Why then, is the melting pot established long ago tipping over and down the drain?

Replacing the melting pot practice is a new policy that’s emerged in the U.S. and in Europe: multiculturalism. Stemming from the left-wing school of thought, multiculturalism is the practice of multiple cultures coexisting. Sounds great: people get to see and experience the dances, cuisines, and costumes of rich cultures. However, multiculturalism doesn’t mean those cultures are obligated to cooperate or contribute to society. Multiculturalism’s effects can be seen as plain as day in Europe, which is on the frontline of the migrant crisis.

Since the migrant crisis flowed from Syria in the thick of intense conflict, Europe hasn’t hesitated in the least in lending a helping hand. The pictures and news reels report droves of migrants entering wide-open gates, smiles perched on their lips. Politicians like German chancellor Angela Merkel praised the efforts as an amazing display of the Western world’s tolerant and warm social atmosphere. The good feelings would be ephemeral, however. Continue reading

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No laughing matter: why “triggered!” jokes are not and will never be funny

By Amanda Bertsch

Opinion articles reflect only the views of the author and not necessarily the views of the editorial board, the Denobis staff, or Tri-City College Prep. 

 

The word “triggered” has a number of useful functions. In its most simple definition, it is an expression of causation: the dog’s hair triggered an allergic reaction. Recently, it has also taken on a medical meaning. Leading mental health website Psych Central defines a trigger as something that elicits a strong memory or flashback of a past trauma. Someone who is triggered forcibly relieves a traumatic experience in their mind; such experiences are commonly sexual assault, memories from war, or other violent events. Content warnings, sometimes referred to as “trigger warnings,” are often used to warn people of possibly triggering content.

This brings the story to today, when the word “triggered” has become the newest internet darling and crept into the casual conversations of many high school students as well. Some people exclaim “triggered!” at every slight offense, from water spilling to someone correcting a grammar error. Jokes about triggering also extend to trigger warnings, with some jokingly putting warnings for “words,” “humanity,” or “opinions,” among others, on their online content.

Proponents of using this word jokingly often argue that words are “just words,” that they are simply joking around, or that restriction of the use of a word is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights. All three of these claims have a fundamental error that lies in an understanding of words. Continue reading

Grateful

By Sairachana Darira

 

What does it take to be grateful? Does one derive happiness from wealth, popularity, fame, abundance? These are questions my mind contemplated over Thanksgiving and the holiday season. And to find the answer to these inquiries, I looked around me. Many people decided to spend this holiday standing in endless lines, to shop for deals. There seemed to be this unquenchable thirst for more, more, and even more, which felt wrong. Thanksgiving is a holiday where we look within ourselves, to see what makes this life worthy, instead of looking outwards, at what we don’t have.

When one inquires, one experiments. So, I threw myself out into the world, and decided to take part of the shopping frenzy called Black Friday. I found myself in stores on Thursday night, instead of home. It was an authentic experience – yet I felt like I lost myself in this process. I kept on contemplating what I wanted, instead of seeing what I needed. And what I needed was what I already had. Continue reading

YouTube Policies Call Free Speech into Question

By Aiden Montgomery

 

On September 1, many channels on the video sharing site YouTube learned of a set of policies that, according to the company, have been public for quite some time.

Many content creators have argued that they were not informed of these changes and that the changes are little more than a poorly-disguised way to censor content. While it is uncertain what these changes will do to YouTube and its community, many people are furious.

 

The new YouTube policies are as follows.

Monetization policies

Monetization policies taken from YouTube’s Policy and Safety Page.

While some of the policy is reasonable, most of it is outright crazy. The term “demonetization” means that if a video does not meet these guidelines, advertisements will be removed from the video. The poster is then unable to make money off the content. If someone is a repeat offender, YouTube has the right to completely disable ads on all of that person’s videos. This means that many content creators who consider YouTube a job or a large portion of their income may not be able to have the funds or motivation to make videos anymore. This is definitely a bad move on YouTube’s part, as they will lose lots of content that makes them revenue.

 

Let’s take a look at the content that falls under the categories listed:

  • Sexually Suggestive Content, including partial nudity and humor.

Any content having a sexual undertone even for school education (such as sex-ed or genetics) could be penalized.

  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism.

This could include any content containing violence, such as a video game or a sport in which harm is caused to the players (think rugby or football).

  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language.

YouTube does not state what it considers as inappropriate language, so almost anything from a movie clip that includes the word “crap” to songs that include profanity could be considered here.

  • Promotion of drugs and related substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items

Any video showing use of drugs, even pharmaceuticals such as Advil, could be affected.

  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.

This applies to almost any news channel.

 

The problem with these policies is that they are too vague. Information is left out that gives people a better idea of what kind of content they should stay away from making. This will affect many channels including such popular ones as CNN, TVFilthyFrank, Movie Clips, Drama Alert, iDubbbzTV, and BBC. Many channels have already started losing money, but so far no significant losses in revenue have been reported by major companies. While YouTube is a private company, this vague policies could be used to censor a wide variety of largely non-offensive content.

Does College Board have too much power?

By Amanda Bertsch

 

As college application season gets into full swing, there’s one name that appears just about everywhere students turn. The College Board is a huge conglomerate that holds a near-monopoly on the testing industry. What many don’t realize is that this organization’s fingerprints can be found in every step of the admissions process.

College Board’s most well-known (and extremely profitable) endeavor is the SAT suite of tests. Sophomores and juniors take the PSAT in preparation for their college admissions tests; juniors and seniors take the SAT and send the resulting scores to colleges. Some particularly ambitious students take SAT 2s, also known as SAT Subject Tests, for a chance to show off particular skills to colleges.

Other College Board programs include the CSS financial aid profile used by top colleges and the CLEP series of assessments to test out of college courses. College Board also runs the AP program, where students can take tests at the ends of high school courses to earn college credit.

To fully understand the impact of the College Board on a student’s academic career, let’s examine a typical high-achieving student applying to Cornell Engineering— call him Sam. The following account tracks Sam from his sophomore year of high school to the end of his freshman year of college.

Continue reading

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